27 August 2014

DIY: shoe storage ottoman

Perhaps yesterday you noticed one thing missing from the great game of musical closets: shoes. As much as I used and appreciated the shoe shelves in the other closet, I really wanted my shoes in the master bedroom with the rest of my clothes. Of course, you already know this caramel beaut was purchased just for that purpose:

But I couldn’t just throw my shoes in and call it a day – how would they stay in pairs? I knew if I kept them neatly organized, they’d all fit in there easily.

To avoid a big scuffed jumble, I wanted some sort of dividers. And I thought perhaps fabric pockets like I’ve seen in other shoe storage ottomans might be just the ticket. The idea’s been floating around for years – I first spotted it in this post from 2011:

online photo source, originally from Real Simple

I mean, how DIY-able is that?! Really, alls you need is fabric and a staple gun. Although the printed fabric in the inspiration image sure is cute, I instead raided my stack of scrap fabric and found this cheapy curtain I no longer use. Easy!

Just needed a bit of ironing and it was ready to go.

I also ensured that my staple gun wouldn’t send the staples through the wood frame of the ottoman and poking through the outside.

Then I drew up my plans. These would eventually become irrelevant, but let me explain my thought process.

I thought that I’d do both pockets and dividers, the idea being that I could put pairs both in the pockets and in between the pockets, depending on the amount of space the shoes needed. The fabric pockets would allow flexibility – if I put two smaller pairs (like flat sandals) in the pockets, there’d be a ton of room in between the pockets for bulky running shoes or heels. Make sense? It did to me, at the time.

So I spent forever deciding on panel sizes and how to cut them out of the curtain (I wanted the existing finished seams up!), then measuring, then cutting them out, and then finally attaching them to the inside of the ottoman.

That’s unfortunate, because in the end... I did not like the pockets. I wanted both flexibility and organization, and I realized the pockets + dividers combo was overkill on organization with not enough flexibility. As it turned out, dividers were all I needed!

Although they may look a bit wonky in this photo, my shoes fit in the space much better this way! And after using this system for a short while, I’m convinced it’s easy enough to use without any shoe jumbling. Hooray for a system that works and zero dollars spent! Boo for the time lost trying to make pockets, but hey, everyone has a science fair now and then.

And of course, now I’m wanting to staple fabric dividers into every ottoman in our house. I already have the panels trimmed, after all...


Janice said...

It turned out great! I love the idea to keep shoes like this. Now, hmmm how am III going to do it? :)Consider the idea swiped.

Miranda said...


Tina said...

I'd thought about using foam core board and wedging it in... but the fabric dividers are more forgiving/flexible in accommodating shoes. Yay you!